A man who witnesses said was hiding in a wooded area behind a Vermont Avenue home Wednesday evening was taken into police custody after a brief chase and charged with stalking a former girlfriend.

Daniel Gonzalez, 36, of Central Avenue in Bridgeport, was reported to police by a witness who saw him hiding in woods off Vermont Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, and feared that he may have been watching children in the neighborhood, according to the report.

When officers arrived on the scene, Gonzalez fled on foot, but was captured in the nearby parking lot of Home Depot on Kings Highway Cutoff.

After checking the background of Gonzalez, who police said initially denied being in the woods, investigators said they learned he had been stalking a former girlfriend who lives on Vermont Avenue. He also had been repeatedly sending text messages to her, police said, and had come to her home unannounced several times.

After the woman learned that Gonzalez was hiding in the woods near her home, she asked police to arrest him.

Gonzalez was charged with third-degree stalking, second-degree harassment and interfering with police.

He was held on a $5,000 bond and scheduled to arraigned Thursday in Bridgeport Superior Court.